The West Seattle neighborhoods that didn’t get their regular Monday solid-waste pickup because of last week’s snow day were invited to put out double this week to make up for it. That made for a longer day, according to some WSB commenters who mentioned late-arriving trucks. And one of those trucks ended the day with a breakdown. Ann Anderson sent photos and the story of how it was rescued:
I always find the behind the scenes of city works to be really interesting. Don’t know how many others do, but on my way home tonight about 8:30 pm, the neighborhood was all lit up by what I thought were fire engines. Turns out all the oncoming glare and flashing lights were due to Garbage Truck No. S297S, disabled on SW Atlantic St. in North Admiral.
So I wondered – when a fully loaded, 20-ton truck breaks down, who ya gonna call?
Michael, the tow truck driver, answered my questions while finishing a fairly involved procedure needed to prep the garbage truck for towing. This required him to lie down beneath 200 tons of steel-encrusted garbage hoisted several feet off the ground directly above him. He said that when the garbage trucks break down on the road, they call the City’s towing contractor, Quality Towing, for whom Michael works.
Lifting and hauling away behemoths like garbage trucks is quite a production and takes some time. The tow rig is 40 feet long and is so big that it makes a hulking garbage truck actually look small.
The rig is equipped with a whopping 550 hp that can yield 100,000 lbs. of lift, so hoisting 40,000 lbs. of garbage truck is only a moderate workout.
I asked Michael how often garbage trucks break down. He said that it happens almost every day. He then added, “there are a LOT of trucks out there”.
It seems it takes going without, even for a short time due to inclement weather, for us to appreciate city services (like curbside garbage pickup) as well as the wide range of service workers who consistently ensure they happen for us – often at all hours of the day and night.